How We Work

We are prepared to fight for public records

Receive

FOIA ideas are considered by our three-member volunteer board.

File

Board-approved FOIA requests are sent seeking release of public documents.

Litigate

PAPR is prepared to litigate any FOIA request that is denied.

Release

All public records we obtain are published to our website.

Public Access to Public Records (PAPR) is a non-profit dedicated to shining light on South Carolina government by using the South Carolina Freedom of Information Act (SC FOIA) to obtain access to records created and maintained by public officials and agencies. (See our Mission Statement) All public records obtained by PAPR through the SC FOIA are posted to our website, papr.org.

We formed PAPR in September 2017 in response to what we saw as a critical need to bring additional resources to bear in the ongoing fight for release of public records in South Carolina.

Our three-member volunteer board considers all FOIA request ideas submitted by any member of the public. Suggestions can be submitted through our website or brought to the board’s attention.

Requests submitted through the website may be made anonymously or by optionally providing contact information. In the event contact information is provided, we will make every effort to acknowledge receipt of request but do not guarantee it. We may also, in our discretion, reach out with follow-up questions to better inform the board’s decision.

Submitted requests are considered by the board during monthly meetings required by our bylaws. The board will consider whether the material sought is, in fact, a public record and may reformulate the request as it deems appropriate and best calculated to obtain meaningful public disclosure.

Request approvals will be considered under a variety of criteria, including the public interest of the information sought, possible news value, and whether an identical or similar request previously prompted resistance from the receiving party.

Upon majority vote of the board, approved requests will be referred to legal counsel to assist in formulating and submitting a PAPR disclosure request.

Board members will abstain from voting on any proposal presenting a possible conflict of interest for the abstaining member. In their discretion, board members may abstain from voting on any other matter. The board reserves the right to defer or carryover any decision on a request.

Should PAPR encounter resistance by a receiving party to complying with our FOIA request, we are prepared to litigate the matter.

Approved requests are summarized on our website, where visitors can view all public records related to the case, including our initial FOIA request, any relevent responses received and all public documents released.

Our mission

PAPR is dedicated to shining a light on the actions of South Carolina public officials and agencies. Our mission is to promote public access to public records, as well as protect and strengthen the South Carolina Freedom of Information Act and other public disclosure laws that enable citizens to fully exercise their right to know how their government works on their behalf.

Contact Info

PO Box 626
Columbia, SC 29202